You probably remember your middle school years as a "golden age" when your horrible physical and emotional awkwardness resulted in frequent humiliation at the hands of early-maturing bullies. Surprisingly, researchers say middle school's not all it's cracked up to be.
The WSJ reports that researchers compared today's standalone middle schools with grades 6-8 to the olde-fashioned style primary schools, which feature every grade from kindergarten- 8. Turns out that the idea of packing a bunch of tweens together in one warehouse-like education factory is a bad one:
On average, children who move up to middle school from a traditional city elementary school, which typically goes up to fifth grade, score about seven percentiles lower on standardized math tests in eighth grade than those who attend a K-8 school...The disparity stems from the toll that changing to a new school takes on adolescents and differences in the sizes of grades, the study says.
Yes—just as it turned out to be a bad idea to pack all of a city's poorest people together in massive housing projects, it also turns out to be a bad idea to pack all of a city's most hormone-addled near-teens together in a massive school and expect them to "learn." At least if there are little kids there too, the youngsters can draw some of the bullies' attention away from you, so you can think about